Sunday, April 29, 2007

The right profile

Many people wonder about what is the right profile to be admitted by a good business school. Evidently, it depends on the school. For instance, I was told the IMD looks, on average, for more experienced people than other schools do.

So, what is a good profile? I can only give me view from my own experience and from what I saw regarding other fellow future students.
First of all, it is very important to know the average profile of previous classes. That should give you a good indicator of where you stand. Many candidates think only about GMAT scores and, of course, after seeing an average GMAT of more than 680, some candidates with lower scores tend to be discouraged.

From what I’ve seen, GMAT is important, but it is not all. That is to say, if you have a GMAT of over 700, you have great possibilities of being admitted. You will only need your profile to be an average one to get in. But if you have a low GMAT score, there are other issues that can work in your favour and get you in. I think having at least 5 year work experience would be nice, and it should be relevant and demonstrate fast career progression. It is also good to speak more than 2 languages. On average, at this level, students are usually comfortable speaking three languages.

But there are other factors that can work in your favour. JBS wants its MBA to be very international, so being from a country with few candidates can give you an edge. I saw that happening with candidates with low GMAT score but with relevant work experience and who were from countries that usually don’t have many candidates. Of course, if you are from India or China, which are the countries with the highest number of candidates, you’ll really need a good GMAT to stand out.
Some schools, such as JBS, value different experiences. That is to say, every year there are some students whose career was developed in the non-profit sector.
They also prefer diversity of academic backgrounds, so I believe they are more likely to admit people from other areas than economics or management.

Bear in mind their goal is to set a very diverse class so that everybody can learn from their fellow students. If we all had the same profile, it would certainly be less interesting. So, in applying you should think about what makes you different from the vast majority of the candidates. What would your contribution be to the forming class? I would say these other factors may be more important than a high GMAT, at least for JBS. So, having a good GMAT score helps, but there is more to being admitted than just having a good score.

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Portal

JBS has a very nice portal to communicate with future students. In this portal, each one of the new students has a profile to fill in so that we can get acquainted with each other before we get there. It’s a very nice idea and a good way of having some knowledge of our colleagues beforehand.

Although the class is not yet complete (and I’m already there, so it probably means I did get accepted) I can already tell this really will be a very international class. There are people from all over the world and with very different backgrounds and life experiences. One thing I find interesting is that Europeans are clearly a minority. Asia and North America are the major contributors so far.

This was one of the reasons that made me opt for Cambridge. At the time, it seemed to me it was one of the most international programmes. And so far, it seems like I was right.

PS: Thanks Javier for your comforting comment. I still don’t have the confirmation letter but being in the portal is probably a sign everything went fine.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Have I accepted?

So, I said yes. Or I least I think I did. I was given a deadline to send some documents, namely, a written acceptance statement and some evidence of good financial standing. I gathered those documents and mailed them a couple of weeks ago to Judge Business School, however it seems like they did reach Cambridge. At least not yet…

And the post offices are unable to track the package due to some technical problem.

So… while the package is wandering around the world, I’m three days away from the deadline and I don’t know if I have officially accepted the place. Let’s just hope I did.

And I always had a good impression of the national post offices. So much for that impression!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

The countdown has started

After giving it a lot of thought, I finally sent the papers. That’s right, I accepted the place and I’ll be heading to Cambridge in September. It was a predictable decision but I felt I needed some time to analyse it very well.

Now, I have lots of things to do. For starters, I’ll have to choose a college from the 31 nice colleges that are part of the University of Cambridge. I’m trying to gather information regarding accommodation and sports facilities of each college so I can choose wisely. I think the next few day will be spent contacting people from Cambridge to set things up.

So…I guess I’ll be heading to Cambridge in about four months. The countdown has already started!